Becoming certified in pediatric surgery

Pediatric Surgery

For information regarding COVID hardship modifications to training requirements for fellows completing training in 2021, see here.

Exams Offered

Use the links below to learn more about the following pediatric surgery examinations:

  • Successful completion of the Pediatric Surgery Qualifying and Certifying Exams is required for board certification in pediatric surgery. The Qualifying Exam is a 5-hour, multiple-choice examination held once per year on a single day at computer-testing centers across the U.S. The Certifying Examination is an oral exam consisting of 5 consecutive 30-minute sessions. It is held once per year in Philadelphia.
  • Applicants for certification in pediatric surgery must be currently certified by the ABS in general surgery, in addition to completing the required pediatric surgery training.
  • The PSITE is a multiple-choice examination taken by surgeons while in residency; it is not required as part of the board certification process.

7-Year Limit for Certification

Surgeons who complete a pediatric surgery fellowship during the 2019-2020 academic year or thereafter will have 7 years to achieve certification. The Qualifying Examination and the Certifying Examination are each offered once per year.

  • QE: Applicants who apply immediately after fellowship will receive up to 4 opportunities within 4 years to pass the QE. Each year and/or each exam counts as an attempt. Skipping or delaying the exam for a year for any reason will count against the remaining opportunities.
  • CE: Upon successful completion of the QE, applicants will be offered up to 3 opportunities within 3 years to pass the CE. The three CE opportunities begin immediately upon successful completion of the QE. Skipping or delaying the exam for a year for any reason will count against the remaining opportunities.
  • Primary certification in surgery is a requirement for certification in pediatric surgery, and is part of the application process. Delays in completing initial certification in surgery will delay the pediatric surgery application, and therefore diminish the number of available attempts to take the pediatric surgery exam. It is highly recommended that you attain certification in surgery BEFORE the end of your pediatric surgery fellowship.
  • Eligibility expires 7 years after the end of fellowship. To regain eligibility, you will be required to pursue a readmissibility pathway to re-enter the certification process in CGSO. See our exam admissibility policy for further details.